Benedictine University was founded in 1887 by the monks of St. Procopius Abbey as a men’s college. It remained a single-sex institution until 1968. The tradition of learning traces its roots to a young monk who felt it was the duty of the monastery to educate the youth who would either join the monastery or influence the world. By instilling their principles that all aspects of life: spirituality, professional goals, community services and family life were all interrelated through education, it was believed that individuals would have the right qualities to truly impact the world in the best way possible.
The academic program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Situated on 108 acres in the Chicago suburb of Lisle, this private university is known for its appealing campus, academics, and strong foundation in its Catholic tradition.
Benedictine University offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as doctorate degrees. There are five colleges within the university, including: the College of Education and Health Services, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Science, the College of Business and the Moser College of Adult and Professional Studies. Undergrads may choose from around 50 degrees including programs of study such as accounting, organizational leadership, health administration, teacher education, international studies, bilingual journalism, biochemistry, computer science, business management and even first responder certification.
Over a dozen graduate programs include a master’s in public health-disaster management, business administration and electronic commerce. There are four doctorate programs offering options such as a doctorate in philosophy and education.
Class sizes are small, with a student teacher ratio of 16:1. The school also has campuses in Springfield, Illinois and offers extension courses through the state of Illinois. Abroad, there are educational programs in China and Vietnam. The campus in Springfield offers degree programs as well, including 6 undergraduate degrees, 4 master programs and one doctorate degree program. However, it should be noted that the number of programs are not as great at the satellite campus, but many of the programs that are offered also happen to be associated with the accelerated degree program. These programs include a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in sociology, a bachelor’s in communication arts, a master’s in organization and behavior management and a doctorate of philosophy in organizational behavior.
Working adults may attend a weekend course program through Moser College of Adult and Professional Studies. This program offers Associate of Arts in Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts in Management and Organizational Leadership, a Master of Business Administration and a Master in Science in Leadership.
To get into the associate degree program, proof of high school graduation is required and proof of prior coursework is required with two years of work experience in the actual industry. The bachelor’s degree program also requires 36 transferable credits and two years in the work force. Finally, to be admitted into a master’s degree program one needs a conferred bachelor’s degree, a cumulative GPA of a 3.0, two letters of recommendation, and professional experience. Courses in these programs take approximately 24-36 months to complete. Undergraduates take classes twice a month and graduate students take one course monthly.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The admissions office exercises a rolling admission policy, meaning applications are accepted throughout the entire year. Interestingly enough, freshmen are made aware of their acceptance not by a “large envelope” arriving in the mail, but will instead receive a call from an admissions advisor. It should be noted however, that once admitted into the college, students must have their tuition deposit paid by the first of May. (This is particularly relevant for students seeking to start in the fall semester.)
High school students must have at least a 2.5 GPA, a score of 21 on the ACT and between 980 and 1010 on the SAT. It is also a requirement for incoming freshman to be ranked in the top 50% of their graduating class and have a letter of recommendation from their high school guidance counselor. As a side note, at the Springfield campus high school students can attend college courses prior to graduating with just a simple letter of consent from the principal or counselor and a 3.0 GPA
Transfer students must have at least a 2.0 from their previous college. Additionally, they must have never been under academic probation or dismissal; furthermore, transfer students are to have a minimum of 20 transferable credits to be even considered eligible for admission candidacy.
Graduate requirements for admission are much more stringent and depend on the program of study. Generally, however, one must have official college transcripts sent to the admissions office, produce a one page goal statement, arrange for a letter of reference, send a resume, and have test scores from either the GMAT, GRE or MAT sent with the $40 application fee.
The financial aid process is not arduous. All students wishing to be considered for federal loans or grants are required to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA. After completing the FAFSA, your school of choice will receive information regarding your eligibility for federal grants, loans, or Work Study.
The university itself awards about 13 scholarships to undergraduate students such as the Out-of State award given to students from out of state who are enrolled on a full-time basis. The Presidential Award is given to high school students with a 3.0 GPA or better. Students may also apply for a waiver called the ”Displaced Earner Program” for those who have had serious negative changes to their financial situations. The university feels that these students should have the opportunity to finish college regardless of their current economic status, especially considering the recent economic woes that have impacted educational access and opportunity.
Student Financial Aid Details
Students enjoy a large number of events throughout the year, both on campus and in the surrounding area. There are three main events that students look forward to including Homecoming, the Benfest which takes place in the fall and usually serves as a welcome back concert, and the Presidential Golf Outing, the time of year where residents and other donors are invited to play golf to raise money for students.
Several student organizations promote extracurricular involvement, including STAT (Students Today Alumni Tomorrow) and the Conservation Club. Intramural sports such as badminton, bowling and laser tag are also quite popular with the student body. There are also separate club sports such as tennis lacrosse and ping pong. Other recreational activities include group fitness clubs like boot camp and yoga.
The Student Success Center has three separate plans of actions to ensure students succeed in their academic endeavors. Learning specialists give special one-on-one tutoring to students in quantitative mathematics such as calculus and biostatistics, assistance in writing skills such as topic development and revisions, and lastly assistance with study skills such as time management and test preparation.
Ondrak and Jaeger Hall are all male and all female dorm halls respectively. The Neuzil Hall are suites that have two bedrooms and a shared bathroom. Neuzil is the upper-class coed dorm hall. The Founders Wood is an apartment complex that offers one to four bedroom apartments.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The athletics department has 19 competitive sport programs that compete in the Northern Athletic Conference under the NCAA Division III level. Women sports include softball, dance, golf, cheerleading and basketball to name just a few. Men’s sports are baseball and soccer.
The sports complex has a 3000 seat stadium, with artificial turf and state of the art features like an electronic score board. On the other side is a baseball stadium that seats 1000 patrons and also includes state of the art features. This combined complex hosts annual high school football championships and was the site of the 2006 NCAA Division Women’s Lacrosse Championships and the 2006 NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.